Weekly Review — August 2, 2005, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

[Image: Lost Souls in Hell, 1875]
Lost Souls in Hell, 1875.

As the culmination of its $1.4 billion “Return to Flight” effort, NASA launched the Space Shuttle Discovery into orbit. Almost immediately, the shuttle shed pieces of insulation and hit a bird. President George W. Bush watched the launch on a small television and clapped his hands, and NASA grounded all future shuttle flights.NewsdayBoston.comThe Washington PostThe Washington PostRussia offered to send a rich person to orbit the moon in exchange for $100 million.The GuardianNew Mexico announced its first case of bubonic plague in two years. “Plague,” said a New Mexico man who contracted the illness in 2002, “changes your life forever.”TheNewMexicoChannel.comThe U.S. House of Representatives voted down CAFTA, the Central American Free Trade Agreement, even though it was already approved by the Senate. House leaders then held the vote open for forty-seven minutes until they had changed enough Republican votes to approve the agreement. Democracy NowA study found that 43 percent of the House and Senate members who have left public office since 1998 are registered lobbyists. Washington PostThe Boy Scout National Jamboree was held at Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia. The Senate passed the Support Our Scouts Act of 2005, guaranteeing the Boy Scouts the right to use federal land whether the organization discriminates against atheists and gays or not. The Senate also noted that holding the Jamboree on a military base gave U.S. soldiers the opportunity to practice the “preparation, logistics, and leadership” needed in combat. At the Jamboree four scout leaders were electrocuted while setting up a tent, and three hundred people were treated for heat-related symptoms. In California, a scoutmaster and a thirteen-year-old scout were killed by lightning.CNN.comSWNebr.netWBOC16Thomas.loc.gov

American forces killed eleven Iraqi militants near Iraq’s border with Syria,BBC Newsa suicide bomber killed twenty-five Iraqi army recruits northwest of Mosul,BBC Newsa suicide bombing at a Baghdad hospital killed at least five people,BBC Newsand a bomb killed two Britons in Basra.BBC NewsIraq’s Prime Minister Ibrahim al Jaafari called for the prompt withdrawal of U.S. troops from the country; General George Casey, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, said that troop withdrawal could begin by spring 2006 “if the political process continues to go positively.”Democracy NowKing Fahd died.New York TimesA massive dust cloud thousands of miles across was heading from the Sahara Desert toward the United States,CNN.comand the Pentagon was stalling to avoid the release of more photographs and videos from Abu Ghraib prison. The videos are said to show young boys shrieking as they are anallyraped.Editor & PublisherGermanarchaeologists reconstructed a 28,000-year-old stone phallus nearly eight inches in length. There was evidence, they said, that the phallus had been used as a tool.BBC NewsPresident Bush’sfavorite dirty joke was reported to be: “The only time I ever hit two good balls is when I step on a rake.”The FixThe Senate went into recess, and George W. Bush appointed John Bolton to be ambassador to the United Nations.The New York TimesThe Bush Administration started referring to the War on Terror as “the global struggle against violent extremism,”Democracy Nowand Karl Rove received a $4,000 raise.Democracy Now

In New York City, subway crime dropped 23 percent in the wake of random bag searches.WNBC.comUkraine fired all of its traffic policemen; traffic was not noticeably affected.Motoring.co.zaBritish police had arrested nineteen people believed to be connected to the London bombings.BBC NewsA huge patch of ice was discovered on Mars,BBC Newsand an object possibly larger than Pluto was discovered beyond the orbit of Neptune. “Someone should have found this before,” said an astronomer.New ScientistCanada and Denmark were arguing over the claim to Hans Island, an uninhabited one-half-square-mile of land 682 miles south of the North Pole,CNN.comand ultra-nationalists in Israel held a “pulsa denura” ceremony to call on the angels of destruction to kill Ariel Sharon.HaaretzAn executive at Coca-Cola said that the company would soon start producing a soda that burns calories,Ad Weekand monsoons in India killed at least eight hundred people and scattered the carcasses of seventeen thousand goats around Bombay.BBC NewsOfficials in Senegal, concerned about the encroaching desert, were considering a proposal to plant a three-mile-wide, 4,375-mile-long wall of trees.ReutersA Nebraska man was charged with having sex with the thirteen-year-old girl whom he had wed legally in Kansas,APand a homeless man in Nashville, Tennessee, confessed to strangling two other homeless men. “I got addicted,” he explained, “to sucking the souls out of people.”Local6.comIn Pinetown, South Africa, two little boys found a fetus without legs or a head; police said that they found no animal saliva on the fetus.The MercuryKansas police took away, then returned, the left foot of an amputee named Ezekiel Rubottom, who had been keeping his foot in a bucket on a friend’s porch. “It’s all good,” said Rubottom.Lawrence Journal-WorldFlorida was infested with iguanas,St. Petersburg Timesan Australianeel nicknamed Eddie was seen swallowing a goose,Practical Fishkeepingand British zoo authorities sent a parrot into seclusion after the bird told two policemen, a mayor, and a vicar to fuck off.News.com.au

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Ashley arrived for her prenatal appointment at Black Hills Obstetrics and Gynecology, in Rapid City, South Dakota, wearing a black zip-up hoodie and Converse sneakers.1 To explain her absence from work that morning — a Tuesday in April 2015 — she had told a co-worker that she was having “female issues.” She was twenty-five years old and eight weeks pregnant. She had been separated from her husband, with whom she had a five-year-old son, for the better part of a year. The guy who’d gotten her pregnant was someone she’d met at the gym, and he’d made it abundantly clear that he wanted nothing more to do with her. Ashley found herself hoping that the doctor would discover some kind of fetal defect, so that her decision would be easier. She glanced across the waiting room at a television playing a birth-control ad and laughed darkly. “Jesus, Lord, it would be so nice if someone just pushed me down a flight of stairs.”

In the exam room, she perched on the table with her feet crossed at the ankles, her blond hair brushing the back of her pink hospital gown. “I don’t know what’s available for me here,” she told her doctor, Katherine Degen, who sat facing her on a stool. “I figured nothing.”

 Some names and identifying details have been changed. 

“Big, fat zero, unfortunately,” Degen said, making a 0 with her fingers. The last doctor who provided abortions in Rapid City retired in 1986, three years before Ashley was born.

The baby was due in November, when Ashley, who was a nurse, hoped to be enrolled in a graduate program to become a nurse practitioner. Getting pregnant as a teenager had forced her to put that dream on hold, but she had thought that she was finally ready; she had even submitted her application shortly before the March 15 deadline. For the first time in her adult life, Ashley felt as if her plans were coming together. Then she missed her period.

It would be too difficult to attend school as a single mother of two, Ashley knew. She had made an appointment for three weeks from now at the nearest abortion clinic, in Billings, Montana, 318 miles away. But just a week and a half ago, her husband had said he wanted to get back together and offered to raise the child as his own. Was it a sign that she was meant to continue the pregnancy? As a rule, Ashley approached her problems with resolve. She was capable and tough; she liked shooting guns and lifting weights. She kept track of her stats and checked off her goals as she achieved them one by one. Yet the dilemma before her had shaken her confidence. She leaned back and turned to watch the ultrasound screen. The black-and-white image danced. A sharp, fast thumping emerged from the machine. As Degen removed the wand, Ashley wiped the corner of her eye.

Photograph (detail) by Brian Frank
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A Window To The World·

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Ashley arrived for her prenatal appointment at Black Hills Obstetrics and Gynecology, in Rapid City, South Dakota, wearing a black zip-up hoodie and Converse sneakers.1 To explain her absence from work that morning — a Tuesday in April 2015 — she had told a co-worker that she was having “female issues.” She was twenty-five years old and eight weeks pregnant. She had been separated from her husband, with whom she had a five-year-old son, for the better part of a year. The guy who’d gotten her pregnant was someone she’d met at the gym, and he’d made it abundantly clear that he wanted nothing more to do with her. Ashley found herself hoping that the doctor would discover some kind of fetal defect, so that her decision would be easier. She glanced across the waiting room at a television playing a birth-control ad and laughed darkly. “Jesus, Lord, it would be so nice if someone just pushed me down a flight of stairs.”

In the exam room, she perched on the table with her feet crossed at the ankles, her blond hair brushing the back of her pink hospital gown. “I don’t know what’s available for me here,” she told her doctor, Katherine Degen, who sat facing her on a stool. “I figured nothing.”

 Some names and identifying details have been changed. 

“Big, fat zero, unfortunately,” Degen said, making a 0 with her fingers. The last doctor who provided abortions in Rapid City retired in 1986, three years before Ashley was born.

The baby was due in November, when Ashley, who was a nurse, hoped to be enrolled in a graduate program to become a nurse practitioner. Getting pregnant as a teenager had forced her to put that dream on hold, but she had thought that she was finally ready; she had even submitted her application shortly before the March 15 deadline. For the first time in her adult life, Ashley felt as if her plans were coming together. Then she missed her period.

It would be too difficult to attend school as a single mother of two, Ashley knew. She had made an appointment for three weeks from now at the nearest abortion clinic, in Billings, Montana, 318 miles away. But just a week and a half ago, her husband had said he wanted to get back together and offered to raise the child as his own. Was it a sign that she was meant to continue the pregnancy? As a rule, Ashley approached her problems with resolve. She was capable and tough; she liked shooting guns and lifting weights. She kept track of her stats and checked off her goals as she achieved them one by one. Yet the dilemma before her had shaken her confidence. She leaned back and turned to watch the ultrasound screen. The black-and-white image danced. A sharp, fast thumping emerged from the machine. As Degen removed the wand, Ashley wiped the corner of her eye.

Artwork by Imre Kinszki © Imre Kinszki Estate
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The Lords of Lambeau·

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Ashley arrived for her prenatal appointment at Black Hills Obstetrics and Gynecology, in Rapid City, South Dakota, wearing a black zip-up hoodie and Converse sneakers.1 To explain her absence from work that morning — a Tuesday in April 2015 — she had told a co-worker that she was having “female issues.” She was twenty-five years old and eight weeks pregnant. She had been separated from her husband, with whom she had a five-year-old son, for the better part of a year. The guy who’d gotten her pregnant was someone she’d met at the gym, and he’d made it abundantly clear that he wanted nothing more to do with her. Ashley found herself hoping that the doctor would discover some kind of fetal defect, so that her decision would be easier. She glanced across the waiting room at a television playing a birth-control ad and laughed darkly. “Jesus, Lord, it would be so nice if someone just pushed me down a flight of stairs.”

In the exam room, she perched on the table with her feet crossed at the ankles, her blond hair brushing the back of her pink hospital gown. “I don’t know what’s available for me here,” she told her doctor, Katherine Degen, who sat facing her on a stool. “I figured nothing.”

 Some names and identifying details have been changed. 

“Big, fat zero, unfortunately,” Degen said, making a 0 with her fingers. The last doctor who provided abortions in Rapid City retired in 1986, three years before Ashley was born.

The baby was due in November, when Ashley, who was a nurse, hoped to be enrolled in a graduate program to become a nurse practitioner. Getting pregnant as a teenager had forced her to put that dream on hold, but she had thought that she was finally ready; she had even submitted her application shortly before the March 15 deadline. For the first time in her adult life, Ashley felt as if her plans were coming together. Then she missed her period.

It would be too difficult to attend school as a single mother of two, Ashley knew. She had made an appointment for three weeks from now at the nearest abortion clinic, in Billings, Montana, 318 miles away. But just a week and a half ago, her husband had said he wanted to get back together and offered to raise the child as his own. Was it a sign that she was meant to continue the pregnancy? As a rule, Ashley approached her problems with resolve. She was capable and tough; she liked shooting guns and lifting weights. She kept track of her stats and checked off her goals as she achieved them one by one. Yet the dilemma before her had shaken her confidence. She leaned back and turned to watch the ultrasound screen. The black-and-white image danced. A sharp, fast thumping emerged from the machine. As Degen removed the wand, Ashley wiped the corner of her eye.

Photograph (detail) by Balazs Gardi
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With Child·

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"She glanced across the waiting room at a television playing a birth-control ad and laughed darkly. 'Jesus, Lord, it would be so nice if someone just pushed me down a flight of stairs.'"
Photograph (detail) by Lara Shipley

Price of ten pencils made from “recycled twigs,” from the Nature Company:

$39.50

A loggerhead turtle in a Kobe aquarium at last achieved swimming success with her twenty-seventh set of prosthetic fins. “When her children hatch,” said the aquarium’s director, “well, I just feel that would make all the trauma in her life worthwhile.”

In Colombia, U.N. delegates sent to serve as impartial observers of the peace process aimed at ending the half-century-long war between the FARC and the Colombian government were chastised after they were filmed dancing and getting drunk with FARC fighters at a New Year’s Eve party.

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